Surgeon Dr. Balfour Mount, the father of Palliative Medicine in North America, is pictured with Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern Hospice movement.
In 1973, urologic oncologist Dr. Balfour Mount coined the term palliative care. Two years later, he opened the first Palliative Care Unit in North America, at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal, Canada.
The World Health Organization defines palliative care as an approach that that improves the quality of life of patients (adults and children) and their families who are facing problems associated with life-threatening illness. It prevents and relieves suffering through the early identification, correct assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, whether physical, psychosocial or spiritual.
In the late1990s, the American College of Surgeons began to support the integration of palliative medicine into the care of surgical patients through the formation of the Palliative Care Task Force (now the Committee on Surgical Palliative Care), the publication of the Statement of Principles of Palliative Care and various educational initiatives. With the support of Dr. Olga Jonasson, members of the Task Force were instrumental in convincing the American Board of Surgery to become one of ten certifying boards for the Hospice and Palliative Medicine exam, thus ensuring that surgeons have the opportunity to continue Dr. Mount's legacy of providing high-quality palliative care to all surgical patients.
Today approximately 90 surgeons are board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine. Further, many other surgeons integrate the principles of Palliative Medicine into the daily care of their patients.
The Surgical Palliative Care Podcast features interviews with the founders and leaders of the Surgical Palliative Care movement, including Drs. Balfour Mount, Geoff Dunn and Anne Mosenthal.
Founded in 2020 by Drs. Red Hoffman, Buddy Marterre and Pringl Miller - all surgeons board certified in Hospice and Palliative Medicine - SPCS is the first and only professional society dedicated to the practice of Surgical Palliative Care. Modeled on the interdisciplinary palliative care team and inspired by Buddy's work as a beekeeper, the Society is structured in a non-hierarchical manner (like a bee colony!) and aims to foster community and fellowship amongst its members by affirming that all healthcare professionals involved in the care of surgical patients, including students and trainees, are welcome to join and to participate.
The MISSION of the Society is to advance the field of Surgical Palliative Care by supporting the personal and professional development of all healthcare providers caring for surgical patients through mentorship, education and training, research and advocacy - all delivered in a collegial and inclusive environment.
The VISION of the Society is that all surgical patients, families and caregivers will have access to high-quality palliative medicine and that all healthcare professionals caring for surgical patients will be empowered to deliver such care.
The Surgical Palliative Care Society is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Your tax-deductible donation will support various projects meant to further the field of Surgical Palliative Care.
1. Network with like-minded healthcare professionals dedicated to the practice of surgical palliative care
2. Participate in the members-only discussion forum
3. Stay up to date on the latest innovations and key developments in Surgical Palliative Care and the Society with our newsletter
4. Collaborate on the advancement of Surgical Palliative Care by serving on the Council and Committees
CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR LEADERSHIP POSITIONS COMING SOON!
5. Participate in virtual learning activities throughout the year.
6. Take advantage of member discounts to attend our Annual Meeting